Affordable senior housing complex breaks ground in Totem Lake

“People can’t age in place as they get costed out of their family home where they’ve lived for decades,” said Kirkland Mayor Kelli Curtis.

On May 2, residents, city officials and other stakeholders gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new affordable housing development for seniors at 12700 116th Ave. NE in Kirkland.

The complex, known as Ardea at Totem Lake, is wedged between 116th Way Northeast and Northeast 128th Street. It will prioritize accessibility to efficient, reliable transportation options for residents. The complex is a transportation-oriented development, prioritizing the creation of development around efficient and accessible transportation options.

The complex will comprise 170 one-bedroom and studio units ranging from 360 to 760 square feet — 45 of which will be reserved for veterans. The units will be available to seniors 62 and older who earn 40% to 60% of the King County area median income, and will continue to be affordable for 55 years, according to a city of Kirkland spokesperson.

Along with the 754 affordable housing units Kirkland has implemented within the city, the complex’s creation is a part of the city’s effort to mitigate the region’s housing crisis.

“People can’t age in place as they get costed out of their family home where they’ve lived for decades,” said Kirkland Mayor Kelli Curtis. “People are at greater risk of losing their homes and experiencing homelessness.”

TWG Development, a national real estate development company and owner of Ardea, plans to implement an underground 37-stall parking garage, indoor lounges, recreation spaces, a multipurpose room, outdoor patios and a top-floor deck.

As a transportation-oriented development, the complex is an estimated three-minute walk from Sound Transit’s Line 1 light rail and a two-minute walk to nearby bus stations.

The Village at Totem Lake, east of the complex, has a variety of grocery stores, restaurants, retail and a cinema, and takes around 10-11 minutes to reach via bus or by walking.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Simon Foster, the director of King County’s Housing and Community Development Division, underscored the importance of integrating housing and transportation to create opportunities and access to jobs, schools, medical services and other essential needs and reduce transportation costs.

“By providing mobility access for everyone, regardless of age, ability or income, we also reduce housing barriers and environmental injustices that largely impact communities of color and historically underserved people,” Foster said.

Ardea is one of several transit-oriented affordable housing developments King County has committed over $230 million toward, he added.

A pillar of affordable housing projects on the Eastside, A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH), was and often is the first to fund projects such as Ardea, said Lindsay Masters, the executive director at ARCH, who noted funding comes with the foundational support of member cities, such as the city of Kirkland.

The project was also funded by Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund — who committed a $16 million low-rate loan to the development — and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and backed by Imagine Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer on the Eastside. The nonprofit will provide onsite supportive services to the residents.

“The growth of the area has also meant higher rents which has a profound impact on seniors living on a fixed income,” said Yi Zhao, executive director of Imagine Housing “Ardea is helping seniors stay in their community and is located close to so many amenities to help keep seniors active and connected.”

From construction to completion, the complex is estimated to finish in late 2025.

(Cameron Sires/Sound Publishing)

(Cameron Sires/Sound Publishing)

(Cameron Sires/Sound Publishing)

(Cameron Sires/Sound Publishing)